Lesson Learned: We need to listen to God.
Materials Needed: paper plate, construction paper, scissors, glue, crayons or markers
1 The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”
3 But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the LORD.
4 Then the LORD sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. 5 All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship.
But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep. 6 The captain went to him and said, “How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us so that we will not perish.”
7 Then the sailors said to each other, “Come, let us cast lots to find out who is responsible for this calamity.” They cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah. 8 So they asked him, “Tell us, who is responsible for making all this trouble for us? What kind of work do you do? Where do you come from? What is your country? From what people are you?”
9 He answered, “I am a Hebrew and I worship the LORD, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.”
10 This terrified them and they asked, “What have you done?” (They knew he was running away from the LORD, because he had already told them so.)
11 The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, “What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?”
12 “Pick me up and throw me into the sea,” he replied, “and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.”
13 Instead, the men did their best to row back to land. But they could not, for the sea grew even wilder than before. 14 Then they cried out to the LORD, “Please, LORD, do not let us die for taking this man’s life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, LORD, have done as you pleased.” 15 Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. 16 At this the men greatly feared the LORD, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows to him.
17 Now the LORD provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
Talking Points: God told Jonah to go to a city called Ninevah and tell the people there to confess their sins. Jonah didn’t want to go because he didn’t like the people there, so instead, he tried to run from God. Of course, we can never run from God; He always knows were we are and what we are doing. Jonah was trying to hide on a boat, but God sent a big storm to rock the boat, and the men Jonah were with had to throw Jonah overboard to get the storm to stop. God sent a big whale to swallow Jonah. Jonah was inside the whale for 3 days until Jonah finally repented and agreed to do what God wanted him to do. God wants us to listen to Him, and do what He says.
Questions: What do you think it would look like inside a whale’s belly? Do you think it would be dark? What would you do if you were inside a whale’s belly?
Step 1: Fold a paper plate in half. Let the child color the paper plate blue (both inside and out).
Step 2: Cut out a tongue and a figure of small man. Glue inside the folded paper plate.
Step 3: Help the child cut out a whale tail and glue it onto the back of the paper plate.
Prayer: Dear God, please give us ears to hear Your word and hearts to listen when You tell us to do something. Amen!